Do you recognize that statement? If not, I’ll give you a hint. It is part of something that I said once a week from age 11 to 18. Still no? Alright, I’ll tell you. It’s a line from the Boy Scout Oath.
The Scout Oath and Law are both designed to instill a sense of values and morals that are applicable in any sphere of life. Being helpful is a central theme, as well as being trustworthy, brave and friendly.
Christians are called to help people. As Jesus explained to his disciples during the last supper after they were arguing about who was the best, he encouraged them that the greatest among them should be like the youngest, and the leader as one who serves (Luke 22:26).
My generation is in crisis trying to figure out what this type of service looks like. The whole crux of the problem is summed up by the question, “Am I doing enough?”
We were that special generation that had been bestowed privileges that had never before been available to any generation ever. We were supposed to use those privileges to be the world changers. We were going to wow history. And that expectation was directly transferred over to our faith.
But many of us don’t feel like we are changing the world. We just feel exhausted, burned out and guilty that perhaps we’re not doing what God wanted us to do.
Because we were told that if we weren’t spending thousands of dollars on international “missions” travel, then we were missing out on God’s heart for the nations and didn’t care about the people who hadn’t heard the Gospel.
We were told that if we were buying a house in the suburbs, then we were missing out on God’s heart for justice because only cities have “real” problems.
We were told that if we pursued a college degree that would ensure a high-paying job, then we were selfish and wanted nothing more than a casual, comfortable, non-sacrificial Christianity and that God was frowning on us.
Helping other people is a foundational Christian value that can be applied wherever we are, at any stage of life, at any income level and in any neighborhood. Loving our neighbors as ourselves.
This article has stuck with me for almost a year. “I’ve come to a point where I’m not sure anymore just what God counts as radical.” The author asks which is a more radical notion of love: moving into an urban Christian commune to serve the poor or calling her mom back when she doesn’t want to?
Helping other people can’t save us, which is something I’ve written about in a previous post called Justicefied. Only Jesus can save us so we can rest assured that God won’t say, “You didn’t do enough” when we stand before him on that day.
Anywhere I go in life I feel like I can represent the Boy Scouts well because their values are universally applicable. It is sad that I can’t always say the same about Christianity because of that haunting underlying message that “I’m not doing enough.”
But that guilt trip doesn’t come from the Bible. It comes from lies that I have chosen to believe.
Every day that I wake up, wherever I am, I will meet people who need help, who need love, need a helping hand or just a smile.
Is that enough?
Well, it’s not enough to save me because only my faith, not my actions, leads to salvation.
But is it a good enough expression of God’s love?
Absolutely. And that’s pretty rad.